Jonjo Keefe (age 18)
The Leys School
(First image.) Loss of neural connections, accumulation of aggregated proteins in deposits (red) and loss of abilities to recall information or to perform simple tasks (see small pcitures) are all hallmarks of the neurodegenerative process taking place in the brains of patients with Alzheimer's, Huntington's and Parkinson's. Recent research suggests that aggregated proteins can move from one nueron to another as disease progresses.
(Second image.) A bacterium (black) injects toxins into a host cell, disabling the cell's ability to fight the infection, by inactivating the host's immune responses. The artist has illustrated the way in which a toxic mixture of proteins from Yersinia (the bacterium causing the back plague) are injected. One of these proteins, YopJ (black/green), uses a host cell factor (blue) to fold into an active enzyme (green) which then modifies (and inactiviates) host cell enzymes (red), so compromising the host cell's ability to fight the infection and so the bacteria can multiply.